I loved Joyland! And, it seems the positive reviews continue to pour out. Of course, most of the major book reviewers have had their say on the book; but just as important are the reflections of more ordinary folk.
Alison Reeger Cook wrote a review for gainesvilletimes.com in which she admitted that this was her first Stephen King book. Her reaction? Impressed that King was able to take well worn themes and work them anew. She also noted that King was able to keep from creating paper cutouts of characters, but created real depth.
This is not a fast-paced novel. It takes its time getting to the central mystery about the haunted house and the legacy of the infamous murder. Yet, the story is steadfastly engaging and, at times, touching. King gives as much care and thought to this novel as any of his more highly publicized literature. And his writing seamlessly combines tinges of natural humor, subtle drama and just the right amount of tension for suspense.He final take? She'll be reading more Stephen King!
Also published this past Sunday, Davin Arul writes a review of Joyland for thestar.com, calling the novel, "a murder-mystery that’s sweet, fluffy and a tad lightweight," and then promises, "but you’ll savour every little strand."
Arul, like Cook, has not been keeping up with the most recent Stephen King offerings. He starts by saying "IT has been a long time since a Stephen King book grabbed my attention from the start and held it right through to the end." Is IT capitalized simply because it is the beginning of the article, or is it a clue that IT was the last novel by King that was joyfully read cover to cover?
Where the book really scores high marks is in its depiction of carnival life, the parlance and little behind-the-scenes nuggets of information, in capturing the things that go into creating the mass illusion – call it magic if you must – that makes such places so special in people’s lives and memories.I had thought about this as well:
There is a supernatural element in here that is somewhat jarring when you consider the core theme of the HCC imprint is supposed to be “hard boiled crime” after all. But then, this is a Stephen King book, so we shouldn’t be surprised to find its murder-mystery spiced with ghosts and people who have the “Shining”.Arul suggests that the great story telling found in Joyland is a hopeful sign of good things to come in Doctor Sleep. I couldn't agree more!